Practising Yoga throughout your pregnancy is one of the best ways of getting in touch with your own body and also getting to know your growing baby.
Pregnancy is a time of great transition for a woman, with new feelings, sensations and experiences arising. Yoga is the ideal exercise to explore these changes and to gain the benefits of a relaxed mind and improved inner strength. Yoga is an ancient practice which originated when the first yogis began to develop their own exercise system based on the instinctive movements in birds and animals. As a result yoga is holistic, and unlike other forms of exercise, is an integral approach to wellbeing which works on the various layers of consciousness – body, mind, breath and spirit.
The benefits of practising yoga throughout pregnancy are numerous, and they are benefits which you will feel immediately. Yoga tones the body without straining the muscles and increases flexibility and strength during a time when your body needs it to support your growing baby. It also increases your sense of energy and vitality which is a priority during the earlier and later stages of pregnancy when fatigue is common. It reduces stress levels and helps to stabilize emotional highs and lows. In addition yogic breathing will support you during childbirth and help you to stay calm and focused. The relaxation sessions at the end of yoga practice are invaluable for allowing the affects of yoga to go deeper and giving you much needed restorative time for yourself, away from the pressures of everyday life.
Throughout my own three pregnancies I practised yoga and gained insights into how my body changed and improved with the benefits of gentle stretching, and moving with the breath. Yogic breathing helped me immensely to focus during the contractions of labour and to remain strong and positive, and ultimately to give birth to three healthy babies.
I have taught prenatal classes locally in the Wallingford area both in small groups at my home and in one to one sessions in the homes of students since March 2005 and have had the pleasure of seeing many happy babies appear looking calm and relaxed and yogic after their ‘inutero’ influence of Yoga!